Prep. Reading. Results.

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be me stressing out about my lack of potential experience etc, as I’ve kind of decided to kick back and relax about that for a while. I mean, I have plans, I’ve applied to 2 different jobs that I do have experience in and would love to do, so I’m just keeping my fingers crossed at the moment with those, but in reality I realised that I was being so obsessive about looking for jobs, and trying to work out the future that I was not actually concentrating on the present. I would be looking for grad jobs whilst ignoring my deadlines, so for now I’m just doing the deadlines instead. I mean, if I don’t actually get the grades then I won’t be able to get grad jobs anyway… so in this case I think the egg really needs to come before the chicken, or something like that xD

Anyway, so as I’ve probably said this about a million times, but I only have one semester left, so I’ve decided to give it all I have. For my first semester this year I got four good 2:1s and a first, so if I just put in as much effort (if not even more) into my dissertation and final essay I will definitely be able to get the 2:1 which I have been aiming for since the beginning of this year. I’m really happy with myself as well, because it was the first time since starting uni that I managed to actually successfully complete my essays without my depression/anxiety flaring up and me having to apply for extenuating circumstances. For me, this year has really just been a brand new chapter in a book. I’ve come off my tablets, I’ve sorted out/come up with a plan for the ridiculous amount of money I spend on food, and I can finally go out by myself and not feel as if people are going to kill me. It’s just been brilliant.

But anyway, that’s not what I originally set out to do. What I actually wanted to do was talk about how I’ve actually been reading the books for my course in my break, and how I’ve managed to make myself sit down for hours reading books which I wouldn’t necessarily ever want to look at outside of uni. Again, proud Sarah here, really proud Sarah – look at me actually being able to do my work xD

So I’d like to start by saying that I probably haven’t read as much as other people, because I’ve only read 3/9 essential texts, but I’ve done a lot of reading around my dissertation and the writing in residence programme which I’ve been accepted on to, so still altogether thats about 7 books in 4 weeks, so an amazing triumph for me. The crazy thing is that I’ve actually been enjoying it, so here’s a small list of what I’ve done to kind of help myself get through the hundreds and hundreds of pages that I have read in the past month. I mean, in most regards it’s here so that I can look back and be like ‘oh yeah, that works, I’ll try that again,’ but you never know you might find something useful!

  1. I’ve been locking myself away from everyone.So yeah, I have become a hermit. By that I don’t mean I haven’t seen anybody else, but when I’m reading I lock myself away from everybody else, and I don’t even let them in the room. It is physically the only way I can concentrate, so it’s just a necessary thing that I’ve had to do.
  2. I’ve dedicated entire days to reading, and doing nothing elseSo for me this was the craziest thing that I worked out. I can’t concentrate on books if I have anything else planned for the day, so I planned nothing but reading for pretty much the entire month and just got on with it. Yes, it got a bit boring sometimes, but i’d just force myself on with it, and eventually I’d get to a point where I was enjoying it again. I originally tried the whole ‘work for a bit, then have fun for a bit’ but it didn’t work, as the ‘fun for a bit’ quickly just turned into me not reading for ages. Anyway, it worked for me, so I guess it should go here.
  3. Reading bits and pieces from different booksAnother thing that I found really worked was that if I was finding a specific bit of one book boring, I would then flick to another book, and pick that up until I felt like I wanted to go back to the other. I always thought that this was something that I would never be able to do, as I felt that the plots would all get mangled together into one super book which was basically one massive soap opera of all the different books, but that didn’t happen, and it really helped me to get through the list that I have to cover before going back next week. I mean, right now I’m also reading another two books, so I alternate them as I feel, and it leaves me not feeling bored of one specific writing style.

Again, I have no idea what this post was about. Basically I can read, and I’m happy with my first semester results.

Until next time,

 

Sarah xx

Internships/ Jobs/ Future Life Goals

Just to start, here is my current twitter status. I feel it sums this post up pretty well:

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 23.23.07

So for the past couple of months I’ve been trying really hard to try and find internships or student jobs for after I finish uni, and I’ve kind of only just found out how hard this is going to actually be. Like, I’ve been working since I was 14, so I was kind of like, I’ll be able to get a job. I’ve never not had a job, so surely this will be easy…. turns out I was completely wrong!

I feel like one of the main issues is that I’ve always been told that any kind of job builds up experience, so I’ve been happily/unhappily working in a shop, or waitressing or cleaning, thinking that it will look good on my CV, whereas in reality when looking at copy/content writing, this blog (as in technically my diary) is actually a better measure of my writing ability. Well thats what it seems like that anyway… and to me when first starting my job search, it seemed crazy, because in some regards surely my degree could show that I can write, and my previous work experience can vouch that I’m hard-working and that I pick up new skills quickly. Anyway, that’s how I was thinking when I started my job searching, but now I really do understand why you need experience in a field. I mean, when actually thinking about the job roles which I fulfilled before, being able to slice bread or clean a room really well doesn’t mean that I’m going to be able to write an amazing slogan for a product, or write a blog post, and with my degree, English is such an all encompassing degree that there’s no way that I’ve covered even half of what ‘writing’ is. So, I’m not annoyed, I’m just scared, and kind of weirdly surprised that I’m in that large pool of people who need experience, but can’t get somebody to give me a chance to get the experience.

So right now, I’m now in a situation where I’m trying to get work experience, and suddenly it all seems really last minute and unprepared. I mean, I’ve had all my life (or at least 6 years) to try and get some, and the fact that I’ve now got only 4 months until I finish uni suddenly makes me feel as if I just don’t have time to do everything to make me stand out against all the other candidates for the jobs.  I mean, I’ve maxed out my C.V. and contacted some local advertising agencies asking for work experience, but now it’s just a waiting game, I just hope that I haven’t left it too long to be able to actually find someone to take me on…

Again, that’s all I really have to say. Hopefully I’ll get a reply from one of my emails and somebody will want me to do some work experience with them…

Fingers crossed,

Sarah xx

 

 

 

 

‘Quick! They’re coming…’

So yesterday we got one of those awful calls off the lettings agents to say that they would be popping in to take some pictures… needless to say, we all just stared at each other in terror. Tbh, it’s pretty much completely mine and my partners fault, but our house is never in a state where ‘a quick freshen up’ is an option, so I have to spend an entire 24 hours removing stuff from the front room back into mine, re-arranging the entire of my room so that I can actually fit things into it, and doing all the dishes that I’ve hoarded from the last time they came around to inspect. Yeah, tidiness is definitely not one of those things that I could claim on a C.V. One skill that I have managed to crack however is Speed-Tidying. I literally deserve a medal for that!

It seems that I  can turn something like this:

messy better

(http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2569251/A-real-fixer-upper-just-tidy-help-Squalid-property-sale-114-000-owners-bothered-make-beds-clear-rubbish-strewn-floors-washing-up.html)

into something like this…

tidybedroom

(1.bp.blogspot.com/tIVTrfrkXXE/T6A9kjjzr6I/AAAAAAAAACs/YwzXc7NcCaU/s1600/Tidy+bedroom.jpg)

…in about 30 mins flat, and basically it’s because I have a system.

First, I throw all the clothes into one corner of the room – and then put it into bin bags and taken them  down to the washing machine.

Then, I grab another bin bag and throw all the rubbish away.

And then finally, I hoover and actually put things where they belong.

Oh, and also, obviously neither of these are my room, I mean, there would be no point being anon if I were to actually post pictures of my bedroom… but basically picture one (and probably actually a bit worse) to picture two in 30 mins. I find that breaking it down into separate jobs really helps, so I don’t spend like an extra hour stressing about everything.

So you might just be thinking, oh Sarah stop exaggerating: it obviously doesn’t matter about the lettings agent coming around if you can do all that in half an hour, but I just worry so much that it still won’t be good enough. I mean, surely we have to have some kind of penance for making it suddenly appear as if we’ve got it all sorted. I mean, we always start with good intentions after a visit, but after a week or two our room just turns into a pit of despair. I’m talking actual bio-hazard levels. Mouldy plates, dominoes boxes, dirty and ‘clean’ clothes mixed together. It gets to the point where it just seems to much to deal with all in one go, so I just put it off, and put it off, until somebody wants to come around, and then I engage Clean-Freak Sarah mode.

…and anyway Clean-Freak Sarah is a scary Sarah.  She’s the kind of Sarah who has to be left alone, and if liable to shout at anybody who enters a room. I’ve always been that way: if I’m cleaning -leave me to it and come back in a couple of hours, so really it is kind of a big deal.

 

Anyway, there’s what I have to deal with. Bring on the awkward ‘where do I stand’ moments when they actually turn up – at least my room is tidy! I guess if there was kind of any moral to this it would be to keep your bedrooms tidy to avoid all this…. but yeah…

Sarah xx

 

Sims… Maybe One Day I’ll Grow Up!

So recently I’ve been working on so many deadlines that I’ve barely had a chance to actually sit down and write a post, but today I’ve decided that I will. Not about uni though, because I really don’t want to talk about the ridiculous amount of work I still have to do this week. About Sims 4 – the only thing I ever do to distract myself from the piles of work caused by third year.

Oh btw, if you don’t like sims 4 this will probably be boring, and I promise that as soon as deadlines are over I will focus on more ‘real’ things, but right now the idea of being able to live through my sims actually helps me to feel as if i’ve succeeded at adulting somehow (even though I’m pretty sure that it means the exact opposite.) Anyhow, this is my blog, so I can write what I want, so please just stick by me.

So, I’ve had Sims 4 for a while now, and have most of the extension and game packs availble (for my 21st birthday I actually got my partner to buy me the Get Together pack,) so for me playing Sims is something I probably do about once and day for about an hour (if not more)

At the moment my main family consists of 6 people; Tessa Evans (the grandmother,) Niall and Michael Evans (Tessa’s sons,) and Michael’s children Cheyanne, Suzie and Bradford. Cheyanne and Bradford are twins. Until recently however I had 8 people, but 2 of them (Michael and Niall’s wives) have died of old age?!

Anyhow, they live in a 4 storey house in Windenburg, which is worth over £350,000 and I am so happy to say that, because I haven’t used any cheats at all 🙂

Anyway.. I have no idea where I was going to go with this, but basically when I get bored I like to play the sims… 🙂

Sarah

 

 

It’s been a while…

So in my first post I actually admitted that I was awful at keeping up to date with blogs, so here’s the first example. I don’t know exactly how long it’s been, but it feels like it’s been forever since I actually last updated my blog. I guess I’ve just been really busy with my work, and just obsessing about certain pieces that i’m working on for uni. It all seems really crazy to me. Like, one week I’m like I hate this whole thing, and then the next week I just can’t sleep for 3 days because I’m up all night writing.

As usual I have no idea where I’m going to go with this post so I’m just going to start with this… I went out of the house today. I mean, not just to uni, but I actually left the house and went into town. I bought some brownies, and took myself out for lunch, and generally just spent way too many hours in second hand book and record shops trying to work out what I wanted to buy. It was just so refreshing. Normally I just sit at home and sleep, or write, but today I did something else! I actually surprised myself for once. Going out is never really a thing that I do, but I have to admit, it shocked me how much I enjoyed it. It was just so nice to spend time with myself outside of my bedroom.

You see, if I do go out it’s normally because I’ve made plans with other people, and then I feel like I have to. Today, it was just so different, because it was me who decided that I would go out. Don’t judge me, but friends outside of my housemates aren’t really things that I know how to deal with. I mean, I love spending time with them, but I am one of those people who would rather just spend time alone, and so today was the perfect time to spend some me time. It made me re-realise just how fun it was to spend time outside of the house. I might even do it again some time soon.

Part 2 of this post.

So I’ve called this part two, because it’s completely separate from the first part. I just wanted to say that I’m still working on my fantasy piece (GO ME!) It’s really surprised me that I’m still into it, as normally a week tops is how long my mind actually carries on caring about something. It’s really rare that an idea sticks with me longer than that, and yet I’m still getting more and more excited about it by the day. It’s just so nice to still know that I can become absorbed in something over a ‘long’ time frame.

Part 3…

I’m just going to put this here. I was going to submit it to see if I could write some articles for EliteDaily or something, but I found it hard to right on anything original as everything seemed to have already been dealt with on the website. Here we go…

10 Signs that You’re the Child of Your Uni House

So you’ve found yourself somewhere between the beginning and the end of your uni career and your sitting downstairs watching Netflix yet again while your flatmates are hiding away doing the work for tomorrow which you really should have already started. You’ve probably not moved for a couple of hours so they decide that it’s time for an intervention. They turn off the internet and you go stumping into the next room: ‘WTH was that for!’ They look at you for just a second, a demented smile crossing their face – ‘Just go and get on with your work, or else it will stay off all night!’

‘You’re not my mother,’ you scream as you leave the room.

‘Am I not?’ they reply with mock sarcasm. ‘Then why does it always feel like I am!?’

 

Here are just 13 signs that you are the child of your uni house.

  1. You are constantly behind with your studies, but never really understand why.

I mean, it’s not like everybody else actually has more time than you – they’ve just learnt how to manage it better.

 

  1. You spend about 80% of your money on pizza within the first month, and then expect the other housemates to just ‘lend’ you the money until next student finance.

 

Why is pizza so expensive anyway?

  1. You have the biggest room. That was just expected. I mean, why should you have the smallest room? Nobody even seemed to put up a fight – it just so wasn’t worth the tantrum you would have pulled if you didn’t get the best room!

You have the most things anyway, so hey, they can just deal with the cupboard under the stairs or whatever…

  1. Despite having the biggest room you’re belongings are just everywhere. They’re in the bathroom, they’re in the front room – there’s just not enough floor space in your room to contain everything so why even bother…

I mean, nobody notices anyway, sooo……

  1. Sometimes you feel that you should tidy up, but then you just get distracted by that new episode of some show that you forgot about like 3 months ago, so you just don’t have time!

I’m just going to live in my own filth, and if anybody moans they can just go away.

  1. You constantly get told of for saying stupid or insensitive things…

“But it was important bitch!”

  1. You’re still waiting for the ‘adult’ switch to turn on in your brain, and you just have to make sure that everybody completely understands that this is the reason why you haven’t ‘grown up’ yet.

I HAVE A REASON FOR ACTING THIS WAY.

‘Yes, we’re both 20, and yes, you did the dishes yesterday, but I just don’t feel like being an adult today.’

  1. You find yourself constantly reading children’s and young adult fiction, because everything else is just too complicated for you to understand.

I don’t really care that you want me to have read Phineas Finn by Monday, I’m still reading about Mr Majeika, so I won’t have time.

  1. Sometimes you just really can’t deal, so hide in your duvet fort and wait for the day to end already!

If I can’t see them, they can’t see me…

10. You often find yourself buying all the things that your mummy wouldn’t let you buy before, just because she said you couldn’t when you were younger – ‘I AM AN ADULT!’

I’m a full grown adult and I can chose whatever I want for dinner.

11. People who don’t really know you get constantly surprised when it turns out that you’re actually quite clever.

‘Shut up idiot. We got into the same uni, so obviously I’m not completely stupid!

12. You constantly distract your other housemates from their work by telling them every single thing that did or thought that day…

‘So today I caught a taxi to ASDA, and I was like where is the handle, and then he was like… some girl just pulled it off…’

‘Funny. Just so funny that I can’t even contain my excitement.’

  1. Despite all of this you know that your housemates all love you because you remind them of the fun they decided to throw away when they decided to grow up!

I mean, who else would want to dress up as elephants and re-enact Hufflalumps and Woozles at two in the morning?! You are just too awesome to grow up, and everybody knows it!

-x-x-

So in the original post there were pictures, and it was funnier, but yeah, I hope you enjoy! And yes, it did seem funnier when I first wrote it…

Sarah

 

 

 

It’s been a while.. and by that I mean about a week…

I’ve been ridiculously busy this week, and I just wanted to post a kind of update. I am so excited at the moment. I have just started writing a fantasy novel, and although I’m so worried about how I’m actually going to make it work, I am so ready to try and work it all out. I’m so excited about this world, and the depth of the politics etc.

I just thought I’d pop up and just mention this, and just say that I’m actually so preoccupied with the whole concept right now that if this continues then I probably will just be in a complete other world for several months to come…

Anyway, I’m so happy that I’m suddenly so into a certain genre we’re doing at uni. I mean, it feels so great to kind of have that ‘omg this is so brilliant’ moment again, because I kind of lost it for a while.

Sarah

 

P.s. Does this even count as an update?

So… Uni Work…

I spoke to one of my uni friends today about this blog, and she said that I should add some of my own work as well… So here we go. This is the beginning of a piece I worked on in children’s writing about refugees.

-x-x-

It was nighttime when we came off the plane. Mumia smiled at me, holding my hand so that I didn’t get lost amongst the crowds of people returning to their Mumias and Babas.

“New beginnings,” she whispered quietly.  I looked at her, and saw sadness mixed into her smile. The truth seemed ‘to hit her like a bus’. There was only us. I had lost my own Baba somewhere on the journey, and so we were left here alone to start this new life. I was scared, but I felt that I couldn’t show this even to her. I had to be strong. That had always been what people called me: the strong one.

As I think about all my old friends, I really want to cry. I probably won’t ever see them again. Many of them left at the same time as us, but one by one they seemed to disappear into the night. Mumia says that I’ll make new friends, but I’m not too sure. It took me all my life to make my old ones, so how can I find people to replace them just like that. As I look up at Mumia I see that she’s looking around for something. Not knowing exactly what I’m supposed to be looking for I start to stare around the airport as well. Somehow copying her makes me feel a little bit calmer. My eyes wonder towards a sign: ‘L-E-E-D-S B-R-A-D-F-O-R-D AIRPORT.’ I can’t help but smile. Mumia has told me that we’re safe now. That they’ll be no more running. No more hiding.

She looks down at me, squishing my hand slightly to try to comfort me. ‘I’m fine,’ I say, trying to reassure her that everything is going to be okay. I don’t know whether I sound very convincing, but it’s the best I can do. She leans down to kiss me on the forehead before looking me in the eyes:‘We’re the lucky ones. Everythings going to be okay.’ I can’t tell whether she believes it or not quite now, but soon we’re walking towards the ‘departure lounge.’ ‘They’ll be waiting for us,’ she smiled. I have no idea how she can put so much faith in these people. We’ve never met them before. I was always told not to talk to strangers, but now I’m just supposed to follow her into a car with a whole group of them? I can’t help but smile up at her. She laughs nervously like she knows exactly what I’m thinking.‘Things have changed my airtafae.’

As we walk hand in hand through the departure gate there are even more crowds of people. Some are doing exactly what we’re doing, just standing still – trying to take everything in. We don’t have long to do this though – no time to readjust to all the different sounds and faces.

‘Almasi,’ a voice much louder than the crowds of people shouts across the lounge. ‘Almasi family,’ he repeats again.  He’s even holding a card with our name on it. I looked up at Mumia and can see her happiness. For the first time I realize that she had never really believed that somebody would meet us at the airport. That was something that we had learned on our travels to here: you can’t trust anybody.

We walk up to the man quickly, still holding each other closely. Most of our fears seemed to disappear for a second, but I’m still thinking about Baba. Almasi family didn’t quite describe us anymore. Maybe he should have just said… well I don’t know what he should have said, but really there was only me and mumia. We’re only a part of the Almasi family.

But anyway, that doesn’t really matter now. We approached the man, and soon we were in this car. Then we were going down this street, and then this street, and it was dark so I couldn’t see where we were exactly going. I somehow felt safe though, even though I had no idea where I was going. ‘We’re going to our new home,’ mumia said as she brushed the hair away from my face. It always amazes me how she always knows what’s on my mind. I can’t think of anyone better to start this new life with, I just wish Baba was still here.

Suddenly the car stops, and this is where it will really begin. The man leaves the car, opening the doors for us. It’s starting to get a little bit lighter now, so I can see the general outline of a house in front of us. This is it. This is where we’re going to live now.

We follow the man up the little step towards the house, and then the door is unlocked and we’re inside. The lights switch on, and suddenly the whole house seems so bright that I can’t see anything.

My eyes quickly adjust to the light, and then I can see everything. We’re in a small sitting room. One sofa, one chair and a t.v. I look up at my mumia, and I can see everything that she’s thinking. It’s not exactly what we had had at home, but at least it was ours. We had somewhere to stay, and to be safe. As the man left we sat not on the sofa but on the floor, holding each other closely. We both cried, and I don’t think either of us knew whether it was happiness and relief, or sadness for those we had left behind.

This was it, our new start. In a few days I would start school, and mumia would have to start looking for a job. Right now though we pushed those thoughts to the back of our minds, and just concentrated on the fact that we were safe and together.

-x-x-

Obviously this is a first draft of a first idea, but I hope you can see what I was trying to do. I’m actually interested in trying to extend it for my coursework, but as usual I’ve got so many ideas flashing through my brain that I’m not quite sure.

Anyway, for now until next time.

Sarah